The BJP is set to mount pressure on the Trinamool Congress over corruption charges following a three-day training camp held by the newly appointed party co-observer for West Bengal, general secretary Sunil Bansal.
Party leaders said the message at the camp was to hit the roads, highlighting especially the case of arrested senior TMC leaders Partha Chatterjee and Anubrata Mondal.
Bansal, who is credited with having played an important role in the BJP’s overwhelming dominance in Uttar Pradesh since 2014, is believed to have been brought to Bengal to spur the state unit back into fighting mode.
Since it failed to put up the promised challenge to the TMC in the 2020 Assembly elections, the BJP has been losing ground in the state, with several top leaders leaving and grass-root workers complaining of being abandoned as they face TMC wrath.
At the training camp held at a resort in North 24 Parganas district, from August 29 to 31, Bansal met state BJP leaders, party district presidents and morcha heads, and told them to not be hesitant in going after the TMC government as well as to reach out to people and strengthen the organisation.
The impact appears to have been immediate, with the BJP lining up a series of padyatras and public meetings in the run-up to its ‘March to Nabanna’ on September 13, to target the state government over corruption charges.
On Friday, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Suvendu Adhikari and other party leaders started the ‘Chor Dharo, Jail Bharo (Put the thieves behind bars)’ campaign from Birbhum district.
Party leaders said the message is to not let the pressure ease till next year’s panchayat polls, and subsequently the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Senior BJP leader Rahul Sinha told The Indian Express that Bansal spoke about a range of issues. “First, we have to strengthen the organisation to the booth level. Second, we have to expose the TMC and its corruption. At the same time, we have to highlight the achievements of the Central government… The party has been energised by the arrival of Bansalji. This has to be replicated by the rank and file.”
Bansal has taken over the party co-observer charge for Bengal from Kailash Vijayvargiya. BJP IT Cell chief Amit Malviya is the other observer for Bengal.
Sources said the other message Bansal had from the central leadership was to end the infighting in the state unit, which has been growing since Balurghat MP Sukanta Majumdar was made the state president last year.
“The party is aware of the internal fights. It has asked leaders to keep aside their differences and work unitedly to achieve our goals for the next elections,” a senior BJP leader said.
Dismissing the BJP’s “renewal” efforts, the TMC asked why the party held its training camp at the resort Vedic Village. “It was more to provide entertainment to its leaders than to hold a political meeting. Resort politics is in their culture as they don’t have any connect with the grass-roots or the common man. Our party is not bothered by their training camp or such modes of entertainment,” TMC state general secretary Kunal Ghosh said.